Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their third and final head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Calgary Flames and the Colorado Avalanche meet at the Pepsi Center in a Western Conference tilt. This one gets going at 9:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 28 and it can be caught live on Sportsnet 360.

Calgary Flames vs. Colorado Avalanche Odds

Calgary (+105) is currently the underdog to Colorado (-125) and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals (-110 for the over, -110 for the under).

Netting 8.7 units for moneyline bettors, Colorado is 33-29 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage is a remarkable improvement over the 22-60 record from last year’s regular season campaign. Of its 62 games this season, 32 have gone over the total, while 26 have gone under and just four have pushed. The team’s 21-9 SU at home this season.

The Avalanche have converted on 20.1 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked ninth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 82.6 percent of all penalties.

The Avalanche, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, and 2.0 per game over their last five contests home outings. The team has had to stave off opposition power plays for just 8.6 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, in total.

Averaging 28.3 saves per game with a .912 save percentage, Semyon Varlamov (17-19-3) has been the primary option in goal for Colorado this season. If Colorado decides to give him the evening off, however, head coach Jared Bednar may roll with Jonathan Bernier (17-13-13 record, .914 save percentage, 2.82 goals against average).

Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen will both be focal points for the Avalanche. MacKinnon (69 points) has tallied 28 goals and 41 assists and has recorded two or more points in 19 different games this year. Rantanen has 20 goals and 38 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 36 contests.

On the other bench, Calgary is 32-32 straight up (SU) and has lost 4.3 units for moneyline bettors thus far. A total of 31 of its games have gone under the total, while 30 have gone over and just two have pushed. As the away team, the Flames are 18-14 SU.

The Flames have converted on 18.7 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 17th overall and it’s successfully killed off 80.1 percent of all penalties.

Calgary’s players have been penalized 4.4 times per game in total this season, and 5.8 per game over their last five road outings. The team has had to kill penalties a whopping 13.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Mike Smith (2.53 goals against average and .921 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Calgary. Smith is averaging 29.0 saves per game and has 24 wins, 23 losses, and six OT losses to his credit.

Johnny Gaudreau (20 goals, 53 assists) has been one of the primary playmaking threats for the visiting Flames.

Calgary Flames vs. Colorado Avalanche Betting Predictions

NHL Pick: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The majority (69.7 percent) of Colorado’s wins have been by two or more goals, and the team is 23-19 overall in such games. 14 of Calgary’s 32 wins (43.8 percent) have been decided by two or more goals.
  • Power plays and penalty kills may prove to be critical in tonight’s matchup. The Flames are 14-15 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 16-17 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Avalanche are 15-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 21-19 when their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Calgary (2-5 in shootouts) has more shootout experience coming into this one. Colorado has only participated in a couple of shootouts this year, winning one and losing the other.
  • The total has gone over in three of Calgary’s last five games.
  • Colorado has averaged 3.4 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 6.5 giveaways per game (ranked 4th overall).
  • Calgary skaters have averaged 6.8 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 9.9 giveaways per game (ranked 19th).